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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of Nov 26 - Dec 2, 2003


‘Hillside Ordinance’
gets final nod

Sun Valley Council adopts
law after final tweaks

Express Staff Writer

Sun Valley City Council members last week issued final approval for the city’s proposed "Hillside Development Ordinance," a long-awaited piece of legislation designed to regulate development on steep hillsides.

In a special meeting Thursday, Nov. 20, the panel voted 4-0 to adopt the new law with minor revisions.

"That’s a lot of hard work," said Councilman Lud Renick, commenting during a subdued moment after the vote.

Mayor David Wilson, who was responding to a personal tragedy last Thursday, was absent from the meeting.

Community Development Director Jack Cloud said the law will not take effect until some time after the city has published a summary of its provisions. It could become effective by January, he noted.

As approved, the new ordinance will amend Sun Valley’s existing zoning regulations to effectively restrict the development of—and creation of—steeply sloped parcels.

The approved ordinance will add new language to two distinct sections of the zoning code. Generally, it will restrict the height and design of buildings planned for hillside parcels, as well as offer incentives to developers to lessen the impacts of projects in sloped areas.

The legislation will effectively ban construction of buildings on hillsides with a slope of 25 percent or greater, except in a very limited set of exempted circumstances.

Council members on Thursday clarified language in the ordinance that will exempt some low-lying properties from restrictions that disallow building on steep slopes.

Specifically, council members ordered that a set of properties east of Sun Valley Road and south of Dollar Road be given the option to cut into slopes that are greater than 25 percent grade. The exempted area is known as Trail Creek subdivision.

Council members determined at an earlier meeting that development of some properties in the area could be enhanced if landowners are permitted to cut into steep slopes below Sun Valley Road—generally out of the public’s view.

City officials have been working on the ordinance for approximately two years. The council approved the ordinance in August, but could not formally adopted it into law until the third public review and reading was conducted last week.



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